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Evans v. Elmer's Products, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Statesville Division

September 10, 2014

ROBIN L. EVANS, Plaintiff,
ELMER'S PRODUCTS, INC., et al., Defendants.


RICHARD L. VOORHEES, District Judge.

THIS MATTER is before the Court on its own motion. Upon a review of the record, and the factual allegations within Plaintiff's "Amended Complaint, " and other submissions, the Court finds that federal subject matter jurisdiction does not exist over Plaintiff's cause of action.

I. Factual Background

In the fall of 2011, Plaintiff Robin L. Evans ("Evans"), acting pro se, filed a form Complaint alleging employment discrimination and violation of multiple federal statutes, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(5), 28 U.S.C. § 1981, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA"), as amended, 29 U.S.C. §§ 626(c)(1) and 626(e). (Doc. 2/Compl.).

On January 10, 2014, Evans filed an Amended Complaint in narrative form. (Doc. 25/Am. Compl.). While difficult to comprehend, Plaintiff's Amended Complaint sounds in a variety of alleged injustices (common law torts), namely, that Plaintiff was arrested for the criminal offense of Felony Stalking and held in custody at the Iredell County Jail for nearly nineteen (19) months. Plaintiff asserts that the charges brought against him were false, amounted to false imprisonment, slander, etc. (Am. Compl.).

Of the several named Defendants, Plaintiff names the Sheriff of Iredell County, Phil Redmond, and the Iredell County Sheriff's Department.[1] In addition, Plaintiff names his former employer, Elmer's Products, Inc. ("Elmer's"), and certain co-workers, including Elmer's Personnel Manager Tina Carpenter, Elmer's Supervisor Rhodney Lester, Elmer's employee Irene Lester, CEO of Elmer's Corporate Headquarters Roger Posacki, the Berwind Corporation ("Berwind"), and Manager at Inventiv[2] Health, Venice Herring.[3] (Doc. 25).

Plaintiff Evans is familiar to this federal court. Evans was employed with Defendant Elmer's as a "Packer" from January 1999 until June 2001. Since dismissal from Elmer's, Evans has initiated at least three civil cases in the United States District Courts of North and South Carolina. In each case, Evans assigns blame and financial responsibility to Elmer's and others for a host of purported harms Evans claims he has suffered since losing his job.

A. Prior Federal Lawsuits Alleging Same or Similar Facts

1. Alleged Violation of Civil Rights - 2006 District of South Carolina Action

In 2006, Plaintiff commenced litigation in the U.S. District Court, the District of South Carolina, Florence Division, asserting violations of 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985. See Evans v. Elmer's Products, Inc., et al., 4:06CV412-RBH ("Elmer's 2006"). Plaintiff complained about issuance of a "no contact order" entered against him in the North Carolina court system, N.C. GEN. STAT. §§ 95-261 and 50C. Plaintiff also alleged that a criminal conspiracy between Elmer's, former co-workers at Elmer's, and law enforcement officials within the Iredell County Sheriff's Department existed to Plaintiff's detriment. In fact, Plaintiff named five of the same defendants identified in the instant lawsuit, including Elmer's, Sheriff Philip Redmond, Iredell County Sheriff's Department, Irene Lester[4], and the Berwind Corporation. The District of South Carolina case alleging constitutional violations and "other improprieties" was dismissed without prejudice and without issuance and service of process pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). The rationale behind dismissal was the rule of law pronounced in Heck v. Humphrey , the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, and abstention principles.[5] The dismissal was not appealed.

2. Alleged Civil Rights Villation 2007 Western District of North Carolina Action

In 2007, Plaintiff filed a civil action in this district with the undersigned district judge presiding. See Evans v. Elmer's Products, Inc., et al., 5:07CV15-RLV ("Elmer's 2007"). Once again, Plaintiff utilized a standard form Complaint alleging violation of his civil rights under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1985 and named Sheriff Redmond, the Iredell County Sheriff's Department, Elmer's, Irene Lester, the Statesville City Police Department, and others as Defendants. Evans asserted that a criminal prosecution for Felony Stalking and subsequent incarceration violated his constitutional rights. After initial review, the undersigned observed that the Complaint contained "nearly identical" factual allegations as the District of South Carolina case. This Court likewise dismissed the 2007 case upon initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). (Elmer's 2007/Doc. 5). Alternatively, this Court held that Plaintiff's claims were subject to dismissal pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The dismissal was not appealed.

B. Alleged Title VII Discrimination - 2011 Western District of North Carolina Action

Trying a different legal theory than in years past, Plaintiff now claims that his termination from employment from Elmer's in June 2001 was discriminatory. (Doc. 2/Compl., ¶ 5; Exh. 1 - EEOC Charge). In addition, Plaintiff claims that he was subject to sexual harassment, general harassment, "blacklisting, violation of "whistle blower" laws, retaliation, continuing action, false allegations of stalking on co-worker, false warrants, false arrest, [and] false imprisonment."[6] (Doc. 2/Complaint, ¶ 5). Plaintiff asserts that he was discriminated against based on his "color" (light white skin) and "age" (then age 56) and that the discriminatory acts began on January 1, 1999 and continued until August 9, 2011.[7] (Compl., ¶¶ 2, 6; Exh. 1 - EEOC Charge). Plaintiff asserts that the discriminatory conduct amounted to a "continuing ...

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